Citizen reporter
1 minute read
13 Apr 2018
1:22 pm

Shembe church must vote for new leader, court rules

Citizen reporter

The decision follows the death of Vela Shembe last year.

Members of the Nazareth Baptist ‘Shembe’ Church.

Last year, Vela Shembe, the then Shembe leader, died at his home in November after a short illness.

The church, which claims to have a 5 million-strong following, made headlines in 2016 after a very public succession battle between Vela and his nephew Mduduzi Shembe, which finally concluded at the Durban High Court.

The succession battle had started in 2011 with the death of iNkosi Vimbeni Shembe, which led to a schism between the followers of Mduduzi and Vela, and a five-year court case that saw police having to separate the men’s followers after physical confrontation between the factions at the court.

Mduduzi Shembe filed an appeal after losing to his uncle in 2016.

In October 2016, KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Achmet Jappie ruled in favour of Vela as the titular head of the church.